Most people have learnt to live with the fact there’s a lot of tv repeats in the summer. So what’s wrong with internet repeats, huh? Seriously though, while revamping DV I noticed my dvd review of El Labe0rinto del Fauno never made it to the Avenue. So let’s present it now, with a slight delay of 28 months. It’s summer after all! (Okay, I cut the intro as that was sò 2007, but the rest is presented unaltered. Cheers!)
So yeah, most of us here at Delirium Vault called El Laberinto del Fauno a.k.a. Pan’s Labyrinth by far the best movie of 2006, but does that mean the DVD is any good?
It’s March 12 and the DVD has been released in the UK. Thanks to a postal strike my copy arrives a couple days later, but never mind: I immediately neglect the other 6 DVDs on my doorstep and pay full attention to the 2 disc Special Edition of Pan’s Labyrinth.
The quest to the DVD player is a familiar one, the lights go out, the cinema experience of 2006 can start again… El Laberinto del Fauno is back.
Disc 1 includes the movie. (If you missed my review of it, you can check it here.)
Acutally, that’s pretty much all it includes. You can select whether you’d like to have the English subtitles on or off and there are two trailers: one for Cronos and one for The Devil’s Backbone.
You can also have the director’s commentary whilst watching the movie.
And that concludes disc one.
The second disc has all the goodies:sadly you can’t access them immediately. First there are two trailers you have to watch. You can’t skip to the menu, all you can do is fast forward them to speed things up. Those two trailers are for the Tommy Lee Jones movie Three Burials and the Nicolas Roeg classic Don’t Look Now.
Now I like that film a lot, but not when I’m forced to watch the trailer.
Four minutes later you get access to all the extras. The disc kicks off with an introduction to the movie. Why this is put on the second disc instead of in front of the movie is beyond me, but it’s nice to have it there.
The Guardian organised an interview between Mark Kermode and Guillermo del Toro. Whilst being far from eye candy, it’s nice to see half an hour of interview that goes slightly beyond “it was amazing to work with these people”.
Next up: a few featurettes that tell us how the movie was made. How were the effects created? How were the characters created? How does the storyboard compare to the movie? And more about the choice of colours. Del Toro also informs us that he found it important for the music to match the story and after he’s finished his story, you can enjoy part of the soundtrack with some movie stills to keep your eyes entertained too. There’s also a featurette where Del Toro gives his opinion of what a fairy tale really is (how it’s got to be both enchanting and brutal).
The trailer for Pan’s Labyrinth wasn’t shown on the first disc, but you get to see it here, as well as a poster gallery for the film. Whereas those are pretty ordinary extras there’s one that is much rarer and a real eye opener: the director has brought some of his notebooks and shows us how the movie started in his head, what his early drawings looked like and how that developped into the finished movie. This was a pretty exciting extra and in itself well worth paying some extra money for the double disc edition.
So while this Special Edition gets a few points off for making you sit through two unrelated trailers and some stupid decisions (it’s not the first time an introduction to a movie is put on the second disc, but I really do hope it’ll be the last time) the extra with Del Toro showing us his notebooks makes up for most of that.
As for the movie itself: both Empire and Mark Kermode called it “a masterpiece”, Time Out found it mesmerising and Jonathan Ross “a real triumph”. Delirium Vault called in “definitely the best movie of 2006”. And none of us were lying.
DVD release: 8.5/10
The DVD release we reviewed is the Region 2 UK release by Optimum Releasing.